Thursday, April 30, 2015

Seldom Seen #7

It would be almost impossible to see our entire collection (100+ pieces) of Brother Thomas' (pots, dishes, mugs, vases) at one time, in one place. We do have some of them out at all times--in hallway display cases, individual offices, the library, etc. And, of course, in the front parlor is a three-tiered gorgeous glass display case where a dozen or so are always arranged by some of our very artistic-eyed sisters.

Right underneath it are five cabinets holding many other pieces, ditto for cabinets in the community room. Here's the seldom seen look for you--and yes, we do know very well how lucky we are!

Monday, April 27, 2015

One World

Poem of the One World

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

Mary Oliver
A Thousand Mornings

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Seldom Seen #6

Seldom Seen #6 is our version of a confessional. It is seldom seen because it is tucked away in a little reception-like room right inside our chapel foyer. It is often used for private conversations, spiritual direction and some storage of needed things for the gathering space right outside.

It is used for private confessions, especially during Lent and Advent, when we have a very nice general penance service, with the opportunity for individual confessions.

When I was very young in religious life...probably just after Vatican II, but long before its ideas were much implemented, I was told this joke: The young priest asked the older priest, who was the chaplain for a convent of nuns, what it was like to hear their confessions every week. The older priest paused and then answered, "It's like being pelted to death with popcorn." I didn't completely get it at first, being one of the nuns, as in the story. Today that would not be his answer, I'm sure.

Monday, April 20, 2015

aa, ee, oo, ll

Aardvark, eerie, oomph, and llama. There's not a lot of these doubles, at least in actual words, so I guess this would qualify as a seldom seen, if I wasn't limiting that to just our place. But, nonetheless, here it is, or I should say, here they are.

BTW, we had a wonderful weekend with Fr. Diarmuid O' Murchu a prolific writer and social psychologist from Ireland. Most of us had read at least one of this 20 books--written over the last 20 years, but few of us had ever heard him speak--live. It took us 4 years to get him, but get him we did this weekend and it certainly matched or exceeded our expectations. Do google him if you're curious. Suffice is to say, we are indeed blessed by the outstanding people that come through our doors.

Now, back to the double lettered words. Sunday afternoon, in need of a little real weekend experience, we took a ride in the countryside around Harborcreek/North East. The area is very rural, totally inundated with the grape industry and rural enough for large wooded areas and many, many farms. As we rounded one corner, lo and behold this is what we saw: a "herd" (are they called herds?) of llama. They looked like some sort of cross between a big dog and a teddy bear! We pulled over to take a couple pictures and a man motioned us to turn in the driveway, so we did, and were treated to up close photos and the llama story.

He has had them for 3-4 years, and takes care of them himself. Once a year he shears them and sells the wool for yarn. He has named every one and posed with "Indiana Jones" for an up close photo. What a fun surprise! Outside of our zoo, which has a number of llama, this is a first!

This looked like a llama parade.

Really cute and cuddly looking!

The owner and Indiana Jones!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Seldom Seen #5

In the ongoing "Seldom Seen" series this is one that I am glad is seldom seen--our exercise/fitness room! When I drive up or down Peach Street here in Erie, I pass the Glenwood Y and then the new LeCom fitness center. In both places the entire wall that faces Peach Street is floor to ceiling windows--and on the other side of those windows is a line of people exercising--walking a treadmill or riding a bike or another combination machine. All sweating, listening to something through ear buds, and providing the passing traffic with some interesting scenery.

Our fitness center is different and I for one am glad for that! It's down on the ground floor, semi-hidden, no windows. Yet, it has a nice display of offerings for our population: two treadmills, some different kinds of bikes, free weights, a TV with both cable and CD/DVD players and a couple things whose purpose I'm not sure!

Personally I've taken to the one treadmill that has a front piece which easily holds a book--which means that I walk and read a good book at the same time--though I've also chosen to watch TV if the time is right!

Thanks to our Wellness Coordinator who furnished much of it through grant writing and a fine interior design "eye" that makes it a very pleasant place--even without windows!

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Creek Trail

Sunday Anne and I took the Creek Trail on our property from East Lake Rd all the way down to the lake and back...on a beautiful, spring afternoon. Our flowers are just on the verge of breaking out but with another couple of days of above 50 temps and such sun as we're starting to have, I'm hopeful that by this time next week we will be awash in spring yellows and pinks.

Meanwhile, look at what we found on our walk--amazing!

Looks like some woodpeckers "built" their home in this tree. Such precision shaving!

Can you see the little chipmunk looking out of this large fallen tree that might be his home, too?

Just as we approached this fisherman he caught a fish. He told us that he was from Pittsburgh and was happy to catch this Steelhead Rainbow Trout which he said he'd keep because it is large enough and will taste delicious.

We saw these two pairs of paddlers out on the lake. That white line you can see on the horizon is ice. There still seemed to be quite a bit away from the shore. 

So, if you come to visit us your trip has to include your own walk on the trail along Seven-Mile Creek so that you can see what you'll find.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Seldom Seen #4

They started out as possible "pets" for our sisters in the infirmary. They are extremely beautiful and cute...but, as you'll read in the description below, they didn't last too long. They did learn to talk a little. From what I heard they could say "Be quiet" quite clearly!

Our three conures, now hidden away so as not to disturb. I visit them once in a while--they are really cute--and loud!

"Playful, fun-loving, bold and inquisitive are all traits that describe a conure, but one word is true for them all: loud! Native to South America, conures come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on the conure, they range from an average of 9 to 21 inches long and have a life span of 20 to 30 years. They are highly attractive birds that come in a multitude of colors, with a spunky, outgoing personality to match. Conures can be taught to perform tricks and are known for talking, but they often express themselves vocally with high-pitched screeches and other calls...Conures make an excellent pet, if you’re ready to deal with the noise level!"

And here's an extra just for fun. I think you will be as amazed as I was--click here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter-Mount and Presque Isle

A Tom turkey is strutting for the many hens nearby. Never saw this live before!

Lots of waterfowl passing through right now. The best are trumpeter swans! Their trumpeting sound is fantastic.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Seldom Seen #3

Our Holy Week retreatants have arrived, all 35 strong. The Triduum rituals start soon and it will prove, hopefully, to be another memorable and meaningful weekend, culminating in the celebration of Easter Sunday--the central moment of the Christian tradition.

To that end we will be playing a lot of music and the handbells will ring out gloriously. Recently they underwent their annual shining and this gave me the opportunity to get out three bells, the largest, that we very seldom see. Our director told me that they are really used for tolling, not playing notes in a piece. I did try to ring them when I was finished with the cleaning and I was amazed at the sound--very, very low. I had to use two hands to get them to sound---and hold on for dear life!

More on our Easter celebration next Monday for sure.

Here are the largest bells we have. They are C, D and G 3, meaning they are two octaves below middle C.

To get a perspective, here are the two largest with the middle C bell in between them. Quite a difference in size---and weight!